Today is May 1st, a holiday in Sweden and many other countries (over 80 actually), as it is the international celebration of the labor movement. The leader of Sweden’s worker’s party (the Social Democrats), Stefan Löfven, held his first May Day speech in the academic town of Lund, later on he also spoke in Malmö, where he talked a lot about the problems with youth unemployment.

“It eats dreams and hopes for the future,” he said. Löfven led the procession in Lund of 300-400 people walking from Clemenstorget to Stortorget. There were in reality closer to 900 people participating, according to the daily Sydsvenskan.
“You carry the same power that will slung neutrons here in Lund,” Löfven said. “We will wipe out youth unemployment and we will create jobs and hope for the future in Sweden.” One of the goals of the Social Democrats is for Sweden to have the lowest unemployment in Europe in the year 2020, though there’s no simple solution to reach it. “There’s no simple way to cut the Gordian knot, but we have a big tool box.” Löfven also promised that if the Social Democrats take power at the next election, “fas 3” (phase 3) will be abolished. “Fas 3”, or the occupational phase, is the name of the last part of the work and development guarantee introduced by the current government in 2007, which has been greatly criticized as being humiliating. “Three little letters and one number, but a huge scorn towards all who are unemployed. We will liberate everyone from ‘fas 3’,” he promised. Löfven also cited a poem by Inger Sjöstrand:

“På stigar
går man aldrig riktigt ensam
Fötterna har sällskap med
alla steg som stigit
stigen fram.”


(“You never walk paths
all alone
Your feet are in company with
all steps that have
made the path before you”)

“And that’s how it is,” he continued. “The assignments ahead of us aren’t easy, they aren’t simply, but we aren’t meeting them alone. We have company. I believe in a society, where we gather on equal terms, like sisters and brothers. I believe in a society, where we view each other as family, where I rejoice for you when you’re doing well, and where I support you when you’re not. I believe in a society where every person sees his crucial part, his unwavering responsibility, his nail to put into the amazing building that is the Swedish society.”